A majority of Latino voters in California voted in favor of Proposition 8 on Tuesday, eliminating the right of same sex couples to marry. I voted “No” on this measure for a variety of reasons — the biggest being I’m sick of the government taking away rights from people, especially after 8 years of GWB.
A major factor for me opposing this initiative was the large cash infusion for the “Yes on 8″ campaign that came from Mormons in Utah. These people don’t even live in California, and it bothers me that they felt the need to exert their influence in our progressive state. Mormons, of all people who know what it is like to be discriminated against because of marriage, decided to reignite the morality war in the name of marriage. Why the hypocrisy?
Another reason I voted “No on 8″ was the interaction that I have had with gay and lesbian couples, some of whom are married. Their marriages do nothing to harm me, don’t make me think any less of the family unit, and certainly don’t encourage anyone to “go gay.” When people try to argue that the core of the family should include a married man and woman, I can’t help but think about all of the co-habitating couples, children who are being born out of wedlock, and families being headed by single parents. Are those families any “less”? Personally, I think that the rise in out of wedlock births and divorce are more damaging than same-sex marriage. I have met gay couples who are more committed to their partners than straight couples are (hence, the desire for the ceremony, vows, and rings). So this whole notion that gays and lesbians are making a mockery out of marriage doesn’t hold with me.
Finally, I just cannot imagine taking away what should be a basic right when we are struggling with civil and human rights as a community. I don’t need to get into a long discussion of the incarceration rates of Latinos or the tragedies of the recent immigration raids and detention situations, but this quote from Fernando Espuelas sums it up perfectly, “The irony of Latino support for Prop. 8 is sad. That a community that continues to struggle for basic rights would deny them to another is particularly baffling.”